Multiple reports indicate the Oklahoma City Thunder is in the final stages of completing a sign-and-trade deal to send former wingman Kevin Martin to the Timberwolves for a trade exception.
The details of the trade aren't final, but it appears as though Martin will go to Minnesota, former Wolves' guard Luke Ridnour will head to Milwaukee, and the Thunder will acquire the trade exception.
The deal allows the Thunder to get value for Martin as opposed to letting him walk in free agency. The exception was originally $6.6 million (Martin's 2014 salary) but the Thunder agreed to send cash considerations to make the value an even $7 million.
Martin averaged 14 points per game in his only season in Oklahoma City. He arrived in OKC as the headline piece of the James Harden trade just prior to the beginning of last season. He scored 25 points in Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals to lead the Thunder past Houston.
When added to the previous trade exception ($2.3 million) acquired in the Eric Maynor trade, OKC will have roughly $9.3 million in trade flexibility for the upcoming season.
Exception time lasts one year after the trade, so the Thunder will be forced to use Maynor's $2.3 million exception prior to this season's trade deadline and will have until roughly mid-July of next year to use Martin's.
Trade exceptions are designed to make the trading process easier for teams. Normally, each club in a deal must match the salaries of the other team's package, but a team with a trade exception doesn't have to come as close to matching.
For instance, if the Thunder wanted to trade for a player with a salary of $10, they would regularly have to put together a package of players whose salaries matched that $10 million. But now, the Thunder could subtract that exception money from that $10 million total and not have to part ways with a high-priced player of their own.
It won't help OKC's current salary cap conundrum, but it has certainly set the Thunder up for a potential big deal in the near future.